March 29, 1998

Notre Dame Baseball Finishes Sweep of Georgetown, 10-2, Behind Brock and Lidge

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Senior shortstop J.J. Brock capped off a stellar week with another four-hit game and a pair of home runs and sophomore righthander Brad Lidge turned in a solid seven-inning performance as Notre Dame defeated visiting Georgetown, 10-2, to sweep the BIG EAST Conference weekend series Sunday at Eck Stadium.

Notre Dame (15-9, 3-0 BIG EAST)--which is 23-6 in its last 29 regular-season conference games--is tied with Rutgers and Seton Hall atop the conference standings, following the first full weekend of BIG EAST play. The Irish used 16 hits and a four-run second inning Sunday to put the finishing touches on the series.

Lidge (3-2) struck out nine batters over seven full innings, while allowing two earned runs on five hits, three walks and two hit batters. He has 47 strikeouts in 41 innings pitched this season (11.2 per nine innings).

Georgetown (13-15, 1-4) managed just a run in the second and a run in the sixth, en route to being shut out in 19 of 25 innings during the series. Junior lefthander Derek Pines (0-4) took the loss, allowing seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits and one walk over five and one-third innings.

Notre Dame collected 50 hits in the series while hitting at a .439 clip, with seven home runs, two triples, 10 doubles, nine walks and just 10 strikeouts in 114 at-bats. The Irish defense made just three errors during the weekend, including none in Sunday's game, while the Irish pitching staff totaled a 3.24 weekend ERA and held Georgetown to a .228 batting average. The Notre Dame pitchers held the Hoyas top two hitters--Matt Dzamba (2-for-11) and Kevin DeSanto (1-for-11)--to a combined .136 weekend (3-for-22).

Brock clocked his first home run of the game over the left-center field fence in the bottom of the first, giving the Irish an early 1-0 lead. Notre Dame pushed to a 5-1 lead in the second, behind consecutive singles from Dan Leatherman, Allen Greene and Brock (RBI), followed by a two-run double down the leftfield line by surging sophomore rightfielder Jeff Felker. Jeff Wagner's single to left capped the four-run inning.

Greene reached on a dropped fly ball in the fourth and then scored on Brock's triple to the centerfield wall, with Brock trotting home on Felker's sacrifice fly.

Leatherman's two-out double scored Todd Frye and Jeff Perconte in the seventh before Brock sent another no-doubt solo shot over the leftfield fence in the eighth, for his third home run of the week and seventh of the season.

Lidge saw his 13-inning shutout streak end in the second inning, when Josh Corman's sacrifice fly scored Steve Buckley.

NOTES: Brock's seven home runs nearly equal his total from the previous three seasons combined (8) ... Sean Mignogna (5), Jeremy Horowitz (3) and Andrew Mariniello (3) were the only Georgetown batters with more than two hits in the series ... top Irish hitters in the series: Brock (9-for-14/.643, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 8 R, 22 total bases), Ust (8-for-13/.615, HR, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 5 R), Wagner (6-for-12/.500, HR, 5 RBI, 3 R), Felker (6-for-12/.500, HR, 7 RBI, 4 R) and Leatherman (5-for-10/.500, 3 RBI, 4 R) ...

Top hitters in this week's eight-game homestand: Felker (14-for-26/.538, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 8 R), Brock (16-for-30/.533, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 13 R, 5 BB, 32 TB), Ust (15-for-32/.469, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 10 R, 32 TB) and Greene (14-for-34/.412, HR, 4 RBI, 10 R) ... the Irish hit .375 for the week while raising their season batting average to .313 ... the Irish pitchers posted a 4.23 ERA for the week, lowering the season ERA to 5.10 ... the Irish are 32-4 at home during the past two seasons ... Brock's 230 career hits move hit into eighth on the Irish career hits list, three behind former teammate Randall Brooks, five behind Craig Counsell (1989-92) and nine behind Scott Sollmann (1994-96) ... Brock suddenly has 15 career home runs, three shy of a share of 10th on the Irish all-time list ...

Brock's triple was the 14th of his career, moving into a tie for second all-time at Notre Dame with Shaun Fitzmaurice (1963-64), George Restovich (1994-96) and Brooks (Sollmann holds the record, with 24) ... Ust hit 11-for-12 this week with two outs, after going just 3-for-27 with two outs during the first 16 games ... Ust (.391) and Brock (.378) lead the team in batting through 24 games, followed by Wagner (.349), Greene (.343). Leatherman (.306), Felker (.303, just 9-for-50 before this week) and Perconte (.297) ... Alec Porzel (.226, 3-for-21 this week) and Frye (.215, 3-for-25 this week) will be looking to get back on track during the coming week ... sophomore DH Larry Zimont (.302) remains out with hamstring leg injury ... based on a 60-game season, Notre Dame is one pace to set team records in home runs (75), home runs per game (1.25), at-bats per home run (27.4), doubles (138) and strikeouts thrown (470) ...

The standings records: 66 home runs ('97), 1.10 HR/gm ('97), 30.53 AB/HR ('91), 127 doubles ('97) and 399 K's thrown ('97) ... the current .511 team slugging pct. would rank third in Irish history, behind the '97 (.529) and '93 (.519) totals ... the Irish pitching staff is averaging 8.19 K's per nine innings, fifth-best in recorded team history and best by a Notre Dame staff in 30 years (since the 1968 team averaged 8.29) ... in other BIG EAST action Sunday, Rutgers finished off a home seep of Pittsburgh (9-6), West Virginia rallied to take the series at St. John's (4-3), Providence finished off a swept at Villanova (23-3) and Seton Hall won its third straight at Connecticut (9-1) ... PC is 3-1, after losing to UConn last Monday.

GEORGETOWN (13-15, 1-4 BIG EAST)    0-1-0   0-0-1   0-0-0       2   5   1
NOTRE DAME  (15-9, 3-0 BIG EAST)    1-4-0   2-0-0   2-1-X       10  16  0

Pines, Becchetti (6), Angowski (8) and Buckley, Ward (8). Lidge, Heilman (8) and Wagner, Knecht (9).

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